Things to warm the heart
Edward Luce wrote recently in the Financial Times: “The unpopularity of America’s 43rd president — even among diehard church-going Republicans of the Midwest — is more than just a background irritant for Republicans vying to succeed him in 2009. Mr Bush is a millstone around their necks.
“Unlike the Democratic party, which is significantly outshining its rival in fundraising and in the polls, Republicans have a longstanding culture of deference towards their leader in the White House. That works when the president is Ronald Reagan, who remained popular until he stepped down. . . .
“But when their president is sinking in the eyes of the majority, it presents a sharp dilemma. ‘We are caught in a bind,’ says a senior staffer on one of the campaigns. ‘We cannot attack George Bush because we would be punished for disloyalty by the party base. And we cannot endorse him because that would be suicide. So we tip-toe around.'”